You did it! Congratulations you survived Christmas, and are now ready to face 2019. January can be a tough month, you may still feel exhausted after all the present buying, wrapping, cooking, family visiting, not to mention helping your child to stay calm and happy over the festivities!

Now is your time, use this month as a time to recharge and reflect. What are your personal hopes and dreams for 2019?

Taking some time for you is absolutely the right thing to do. You need to recover and find your own energy. So how do you do this as a busy parent?

Make yourself a priority, put a date and time in the diary each week where you will do something just for you. It doesn’t have to be anything lavish like a spa day (but you could if you wanted!). A simple gesture like meeting a friend for a cup of tea without any children or visiting somewhere you have always fancied going but knew no one else would enjoy. By taking some time out for yourself you are reminding your subconscious that you are important too. This will support your own mental health and help build a sense of value.

If it’s not possible to get any time completely to yourself then do an activity that is just for you at a time when you are usually doing things for others. Instead of cooking dinner one evening, tell everyone that its cereal night. Trust me the children will love it. Then spend the time you would usually be sorting dinner doing something for you. Read a bit of a book, do some mindful colouring or watch videos of cats on YouTube. If you would like a workbook with six 10minute mindful activities to help you get started you can get it here: 60 Minute me time

It may feel very odd to be putting yourself first but interestingly the more you give yourself in the way of kindness the more you will be able to give to others.

Children are at their most creative when they are bored, so it’s absolutely ok to say “I love you, but I am having some me time, go and play”.

As children get older they naturally go to bed later, this shouldn’t mean that you no longer get that time. Have a time when no children/teens are allowed in the lounge. In our house the cut off time for teens in the lounge is 9pm. This gives us a chance to watch what we want on the TV and have conversations that we may not want the children to overhear. The children know we are there all day but after 9pm is our time.

It’s ok to value yourself and to take time to do what makes you happy.

Wishing you a wonderful 2019